The Daily Telegraph
February 24th, 2017

The roof of the Katoomba RSL has collapsed during a fire which spread quickly and has destroyed the rear part of the club.

The Lurline St RSL erupted in flames about 1.30pm today, forcing evacuations of 40 staff and patrons as huge flames and black plumes of smoke engulfed the area.

The fire, which is believed to have started in the kitchen, has been contained to the premises and NSW Fire and Rescue Superintendent Ian Krimmer said the neighbouring properties have been protected. Supt Krimmer said the rear half of the club has been “totally destroyed by fire”.

Supt Krimmer said there are fears a wall in the club will also collapse and said it will take hours for the blaze to be extinguished.

Katoomba Public School was put into lockdown and firefighters helped the students leave the grounds safely when school ended for the day.

Roads surrounding the club are blocked and Fire and Rescue NSW has advised people to avoid the area.

Hannah Rothery, who works at Cassiopeia Specialty Coffee shop, which is located across from the club, saw a number of people flee the RSL when the fire started.

“I was just sitting at work and we saw the building on fire,” Ms Rothery said, adding she couldn’t go outside the cafe because the visibility was not good. The whole building is smoky.”